Mission Authority
There would be a State Mission Authority for UEE. All activities in the elementary education sector, including the implementation of the revised NFE programme, should be under one Society. This would facilitate decision making at the State level. The mission mode signifies a focussed and time bound arrangement for decision-making and the presence of Planning and Finance on these bodies at the State level would facilitate this process. The General Council could be headed by the Chief Minister and the Executive Committee by the Chief Secretary/ Development Commissioner/ Education Secretary. Representation of Finance and Planning Departments on the General Council and the Executive Committee would facilitate decision-making. Department of Rural Development's involvement will facilitate the process of mobilizing additional resources under the rural employment programmes for school infrastructure development. Involvement of NGOs, social activists, university teachers, teacher union representatives, Panchayati Raj representatives, and women's groups would help in ensuring full transparency to the activities of the Mission. Ministry of Human Resource Development would be represented both on the Governing Council and the Executive Committee.
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan allows the engagement of professional on contractual terms, subject to the ceiling on management costs. However, the engagement of professionals has to be done after taking stock of the available manpower. The professionals have to work to strengthen capacities in the mainstream. This would require serious effort and possible restructuring of command structures in many states. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan would encourage all efforts at restructuring that contribute to effective decision making and efficiency. The accountability framework of institutions has to be considerably strengthened. This calls for adoption of strict selection criteria while posting officials to institutions like DIETs and SCERTs. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with States under the scheme of Teacher Education is already highlighting this need for priority to institutional development.
Management cost up to 6 percent of the total programme cost has been provided. It can be used for the following tasks - engagement of experts for specific tasks and specific periods; data collection and EMIS operationalization and maintenance; office expenses like stationary, telephone, fax, photocopiers consumables, postage, POL, vehicle hiring, TA/DA of functionaries; cost of persons allowed to be engaged contract basis for the programme duration; recurring contingent and miscellaneous costs. For specific tasks, experts may be hired for a given time frame, to provide support to the mainstream educational management structure. Before hiring experts, it will be mandatory for districts/states to assess the existing strength. There would be areas like MIS, pedagogy, teacher training, research and evaluation, community mobilization, gender sensitization, civil works, Alternative schooling, that may require infusion of experts. The actual requirement would depend on an assessment of the existing structure. In a state where institutions like SCERT, DIETs, etc are already fully and effectively functional, such requirements will be minimal. Experience of elementary education project implementation suggests that a core team of 7-8 persons at the district level and a team of 3-4 persons at the Block level is required for effective implementation. This team will be constituted by selection from existing staff, as far as possible. Full time workers on secondment (as in TLCs, with government's permission), deputation from other government departments, would be encouraged to work as part of the district and block level teams for UEE. After assessment of needs and existing availability of manpower, decision regarding contractual appointments would be taken in consultation with the State level Authority. All contractual appointees will be engaged for a specified time period by the State level Implementation Society (and not by the government) and shall work within the institutional framework.The selection process of professionals hired on contract (within the 6 percent management cost) has to be very rigorous. Selection should be done by expert committees specially constituted for the purpose. The management costs should be periodically monitored to ensure that it is within the ceiling of 6 %. Sustainability of such costs has to be taken into account at the time of incurring them. An illustrative management structure had been provided under the District Primary Education Programme. Under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, the effort will be to first identify the existing strengths and weaknesses of the implementation team at the district, Block, Cluster and habitation level. The requirement of additional staff will be worked out on the basis of this assessment. In the preparatory phase itself, identification of likely BRC and CRC coordinators from among the teachers should begin

In fact, this team should start functioning from the preparatory phase itself by deputation, if need be. This team of up to 20 teachers could provide useful support to the planning process at the Block and Cluster level. Normally, States find lack of sufficiently trained personnel to handle MIS and community mobilization related activities, from the existing staff. Gender related interventions have also required the engagement of persons on contractual appointment. While making an assessment of manpower needs, districts must assign the top most priority to engaging experts for MIS, community mobilization and gender related interventions. In context specific situations, engagement of experts on tribal education, education of SC children, education of children with special needs, etc., may also be considered. Similarly, in states where the institutional capacity for quality interventions is weak, engagement of experts on pedagogy and teacher training may also be considered. Effective management of accounts also requires effective training and occasionally strengthening of the financial management machinery at the district and the Block levels.